FMLA Guidelines

We’ll assist you in tracking and managing intermittent FMLA leave … fighting FMLA fraud and FMLA abuse … and managing FMLA in general.

Beyond mastering FMLA regulations on intermittent leave, we’ll share FMLA guidelines on how to curb FMLA abuse, and dramatically improve your overall FMLA compliance.

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Train supervisors and managers on situations that could trigger the FMLA leave determination process. The best approach is to suggest they notify HR if an employee calls in sick and implies anything more than “I’m sick today.” If the employee provides any detail that makes it seem likely he or a family member is suffering from a serious health condition, he should be referred to HR to determine if he’s eligible for FMLA leave.

Today’s economic climate has caused employers to cut budgets and workforces—and expect workers to do more with less. As they see colleagues laid off and their employers cutting back, employees are more concerned than ever about their own job security. It makes sense for employers to address stress issues in their workforces, since increased stress affects not only employees, but employers’ bottom lines.

Q. One of our employees has a sick parent who lives in another country. She wants FMLA leave to care for the parent. Is FMLA available under the circumstances? And how would I verify the authenticity of a foreign medical certification?

Many part-time employees don’t qualify for FMLA leave because they haven’t worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave. But now some hourly employees and their attorneys are trying a new approach: They’re claiming that employers failed to count so-called off-the-clock work toward FMLA eligibility.

An employee’s request to take FMLA leave can be frustrating for supervisors who have to manage schedules and projects. But if bosses voice those concerns in a way that seems angry or annoyed, they may be creating the perfect storm for an FMLA interference lawsuit.

Western Illinois University has settled a wrongful discharge claim with former head football coach Don Patterson, who lost his job after learning he had cancer.
Q. Is there any help you can provide on how we should obtain medical information from employees taking FMLA leave?
Q. We have an employee returning from a leave taken under the federal FMLA and the California Family Rights Act. His physician has issued a fitness-for-duty certificate. However, we have doubts about the worker’s ability to perform his job ... Can we send him to another physician for a second fitness-for-duty examination?
Q. An employee worked for us for years, took four years off to have a child and was rehired nine months ago. She asked for time off because her child needed surgery. We refused because we thought she was not FMLA-eligible. After we terminated her for an unauthorized leave of absence, we received a nasty letter from her attorney threatening to sue us for violating her rights under the FMLA. Who’s right?

A Pennsylvania House of Representatives committee has begun considering legislation that would require all employers to provide some paid sick leave for employees. The Healthy Family, Healthy Workplaces Act would require employers with 10 or more employees to provide at least one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 52 hours per year.

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